Ilkka Mäkelä is Helvar’s Global Service Sales Director, focusing mainly on Helvar Insights, our digital service portfolio that creates added value to existing lighting control systems. He has more than 15 years of experience in service sales management from several European countries, and holds a master’s degree in economics and business administration from Helsinki School of Economics (Aalto University), as well as a Master in International Management from CEMS.

Have you ever wondered about the importance of renovation? Usually, renovation is considered an avoidable cost until it cannot be ignored anymore, and the decision to renovate is often made retroactively when maintenance costs are already high and tenant satisfaction is low. A staggering 75% of all non-residential building stock in the EU was built before 1990. With today’s renovation rate of around 1% of buildings per year, a timely transition of the EU building sector towards climate-neutral levels by 2050 cannot be ensured.
The rate of renovation should change, and facilities management (FM) companies are among the key influencers. They are the ones who influence both owners and tenants and are experts in solutions that save energy and improve tenant satisfaction. They are involved in the whole life of the building, for better and for worse.
Those building operators and facilities management companies who renovate their buildings pro-actively will be the winners because they provide a better service for their clients and achieve lower running costs due to modern technology.

Lighting is the low-hanging energy fruit; harvest it!
One of the quickest wins within energy renovation is lighting. In the EU, 14% of the energy consumption of commercial buildings is for lighting, and up to 85% of lighting energy consumption can be saved using intelligent LED lighting compared to schedule-based fluorescent lighting. There are also additional benefits in using intelligent lighting control solutions. For example, by using occupancy-based control, daylight harvesting and intelligent digital insights (algorithms that optimise lighting based on usage data), an additional 38% of lighting energy usage can be saved.
Furthermore, according to a recent study on the benefits of lighting system renovation, energy savings of up to 20% can be achieved when upgrading lighting controls to the latest technology that uses intelligent digital insights to improve its energy efficiency over time. Simply put, with the right digital tools, lighting can optimise itself automatically.

How to create a successful win-win-win solution?
With digital insights from lighting, facilities management can raise their profile and quality. We all know how frustrating it is to work in an office where lights malfunction for a long period of time before being fixed, and FMs know how frustrating it is because they don’t learn about malfunctions fast enough.
Imagine a lighting network that automatically notifies the FM when there is a fault and points them to the exact location. With this information, lighting faults can be fixed without delay, most of them before users have even noticed anything. For users, this seems like there are no faults anymore!
If you’re a building operator or a facilities manager, embrace this era of energy efficiency and digital insights, and improve the buildings you are responsible for by renovating them. It’s a win-win-win for you, the tenants and the environment.
6 reasons for an intelligent lighting renovation: